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Billy Joel


Billy's father, Howard (born Helmuth) Joel, a classical pianist, was born in Germany, the son of a Jewish merchant and manufacturer, Karl Amson Joel. Howard emigrated to Switzerland and later to the United States (via Cuba, as immigration quotas for German Jews prevented direct immigration at the time) to escape the Nazi regime. Joel's mother, Rosalind, was born in England to Jewish parents, Philip and Rebecca Nyman. Rosalind and Howard Joel divorced in 1957. Howard Joel moved to Vienna. Billy Joel has a sister, Judith, and a half-brother, Alexander Joel, a classical conductor in Europe, currently chief musical director of the Staatstheater Braunschweig.

Billy reluctantly began piano lessons at an early age, at his mother's insistence, his teachers including the noted American pianist Morton Estrin and musician Timothy Ford; As a teenager, Joel took up boxing so he could defend himself. He boxed successfully on the amateur Golden Gloves circuit for a short time, winning twenty-two bouts, but abandoned the sport shortly after his nose was broken in his twenty-fourth boxing match.

Joel attended Hicksville High School until 1967, but he did not graduate with his class. He had been playing at a piano bar to help his mother make ends meet, which interfered with his attendance; specifically, he missed a crucial English exam, as he had been playing a late-night gig at a piano bar the evening before. Though Joel was a comparatively strong student, at the end of his senior year, he did not have enough credits to graduate. Rather than attend summer school to earn his diploma, Joel decided to begin a career in music: "I told them, 'To hell with it. If I'm not going to Columbia University, I'm going to Columbia Records, and you don't need a high school diploma over there'." Joel eventually signed with Columbia. In 1992, he submitted essays to the school board and was awarded his diploma at Hicksville High's annual graduation ceremony, 25 years after leaving.


William Martin "Billy" Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American rock musician, singer-songwriter, and classical composer.
He released his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973.
Billy Joel is the sixth best-selling recording artist in the United States.
In March 2009, Joel resumed his popular Face to Face tour with fellow piano man Elton John.

 

70's Rock

Its Still Rock And Roll To Me
My Life
Only The Good Die Young
Piano Man

80's Hits

It's Still Rock and Roll To Me
Tell her about it
Uptown Girl

90's Hits

The River of Dreams
We Didn't Start The Fire

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